single-channel video with sound, light stands, wood, vinyl wall text placed in variable manner
3 minutes 36 seconds
The protagonist of Jean-Pierre Melville's noir nouvelle vague film Le Samouraï (1967) is an assassin who adheres to a life detached from others. The only creature he allows himself to connect with is a pet bird, a finch, who shares his otherwise lifeless flat.
Lisa Tan's Les Samouraïs takes the opening scene and makes a subtle alteration through image and sound: she adds one more bird to the cage. The simple gesture foils the film’s theme of isolation and interiority while fictitiously modifying an occurrence within historical reality. Melville wrote, directed, and edited his films in Studios Jenner, situated in the 13th arrondissement in Paris. While finishing Le Samouraï, the studio was destroyed by a fire and the bird was the only casualty of the accident.